dress for your next interview

How to Dress for Your Next Interview

dress for your next interview

The market is hot, and if you’re included in the over 30% of American workers that are seriously considering leaving their jobs, you may have an upcoming interview. But what should you wear to your interview? Well, that depends! Different employers, industries, and departments have specific expectations on what you should wear. Here is a brief guideline on how to dress for success in your next interview.

Manufacturing/Labor setting

If your job interview is in a manufacturing or labor setting, you obviously don’t want to show up in a suit and tie. Instead, wear a button-down shirt and some nice jeans. If you will be on the manufacturing floor or walking around the job site, be sure to wear your steel toe boots! You will more than likely receive a brief tour and want to ensure you are prepared to walk the premises safely.

Professional setting

If you’re interviewing in a professional environment, you will want to dress the part. Wear a suit and a tie or a skirt and a nice blouse. Wear neutral colors and be sure to limit the accessories/jewelry you wear. You want the focus to be on you as the candidate, not what you are wearing. Try not to wear anything that may distract your interviewers. And be sure that your fancy dress attire is nicely pressed and ironed!

Casual setting

If your interview is in more of an informal setting, then you have the opportunity to dress a step down from professional attire and wear a business casual outfit. In this setting, you will want to wear some nice pants and a button-down shirt, maybe a blazer at the most. You don’t want to come to your interview way overdressed. Again, you want the attention focused on you, not what you are wearing. And be sure to wear some nice shoes! Even in a casual setting, you want to wear shoes that leave a great impression. Don’t walk into the front door of your prospective employer with those old grungy sneakers you wear to mow the lawn.

Video interview setting

Last but not least, there is even a dress code for a video interview. Here, you will want to dress appropriately for the employer’s dress code. If it’s a casual setting, dress business casual in your interview. If it’s a professional setting, wear your suit jacket or a nice blouse. You don’t need to put your entire outfit on; however, your interviewers will be able to see you from your torso up, so dress accordingly. Just because you’re at home for this interview doesn’t mean you get the luxury of wearing your pajamas. Bonus tip: be sure you have a clean, plain background for your interview. You don’t want to have a bunch of clutter around you to distract your interviewers (or even yourself) from the conversation.

If you are not sure what the dress code is for the employer, just ask. The hiring manager or human resources professional will be happy to share this information. And if you are still not sure what to wear, it’s always wise to dress a step up than to come in underdressed for your interview.

why do you want to work here

How to Answer “Why Do You Want to Work Here?” In An Interview

why do you want to work here

If you find yourself in a job interview in the near future, there is a high chance your interviewer asks something along the lines of, “Why do you want to work here?” We live in an age where technology connects us in more ways than ever. However, interviewers still like to ask this question to gain an understanding of the motivations behind your job search. The good news is, you can use the web to your advantage and arm yourself with a great answer to this question.

Answers To Avoid In An Interview

First and foremost, you want to avoid giving a completely one-sided answer. It’s important to stay away from anything that focuses only on how the job will serve you. Your prospective interviewer is well aware of the perks and benefits offered at their company. Next, do no say you just want this job to pay the bills. Highlighting these things only comes across as self-serving in a setting where you are trying to show the value you will provide to them, not the value you will receive as a result.

Finally, don’t use this as an opportunity to bash your former employer. You may be unhappy with your current role, but it isn’t appropriate to focus on negatives while trying to improve your situation with a new company.

What to Focus on Instead

Instead, focus on how you identify with the company. Are you a lifelong user of their service or product? Do they have a mission or cause that resonates with you? Do you have a lot in common with their employees? Use the information you’ve gathered online to form a solid opinion about the company. We also recommend that you reference comments made by the interviewer throughout your meeting. Did they mention that the team is extremely collaborative? Or that you’ll have the independence to run your own desk? This serves a dual purpose in both answering the question and showing that you’re listening. And most importantly, don’t forget to mention how well you envision yourself fitting within their company culture.


Don’t Forget This Prep Before Your Next Interview


You submitted your resume and cover letter and were fortunate enough to secure an interview. You’ve actively been performing due diligence, trying to get a feel for what it’s like to work there. You’ve selected the perfect outfit, and are practicing responses to commonly asked questions you’ve found online. While these are essential in your preparedness for your interview, many candidates forget these preparation steps that make them stand out from the competition.

Soften Up

Your hard skills are likely what moved you from the resume to the interview stage. But now that you’re here, your soft skills and character will also play a part in the hiring decision. Soft skills are a mixture of your social, people, and communication skills that, combined with your personality traits, allow you to understand an environment and work well with those around you.

A recent survey of over 5,000 talent professionals reveals that 91% felt that soft skills will be important to the future of the workplace. Soft skills topped this list that also included work flexibility (72%) and anti-harassment (71%). 45% of those interviewed indicated that bad hires often lacked soft skills, with another 44% claiming it was a lack of a combination of soft and hard skills. As you can tell from these numbers, employers want to hire people who have soft skills. So how do you showcase yours and what can you do to prepare this information?

Tell Your Story (Then Prove It)

Leading up to the interview, practice is key. While researching common interview questions can be helpful, it’s key to practice talking about yourself because it’s harder than you think. Make a list of your top three to five soft skills. They should be clear and specific, as you aren’t hinting at being adaptable, you are telling them you are adaptable. While apprehension is common because this can feel like bragging, it is exactly what this time has been allotted for. This is your chance to talk about yourself, rather than counting on the hiring manager to connect the dots on their own once the interview has concluded.

Now that you’ve shared your soft skills, you need to back it up. Words mean nothing without evidence. A statement about being adaptable will be much more powerful with proof behind it. So, make sure to back this claim up with a quick but relevant example. Try to showcase a situation when you demonstrated the soft skills discussed.

Sticking with the adaptability example, one could share a story about taking on more responsibility in a previous role. Just be prepared to explain any example you give. The best way to ensure that your story proves your point is to practice ahead of time.

job interview

2 Things You MUST Do Before Your Job Interview

job interview

You’ve seen the headlines. The job market is so hot right now; there are more jobs available than people unemployed. In December 2018 alone, 5.5 million individuals that reportedly left their job (with 3.5 million leaving voluntarily).  So, many professionals find themselves looking for their next opportunity. And while you’ve probably been through an interview process or two throughout your career, a refresher can be helpful for anyone!


The first place to begin is with yourself. Review the resume you submitted to ensure you can discuss any detail you included. And don’t forget to touch base with your references. They may be receiving a call to gauge your qualifications and highlight skills or experiences listed on your resume.

Review any dress code that may be in place for your interview. Ideally, the hiring manager or HR will share this expectation with you. Every industry and company has different expectations. In contrast, if you be work with a recruiter from JSG, they will fill you in on acceptable attire.

Reviews on the site Glassdoor can also provide insight into company-specific interviews. These reviews often mention dress code and other first-hand accounts of the company, employees, and culture. Leverage these insights to gain a better understanding of the company and to demonstrate a familiarity with the industry.

Small talk during interviews can be a total momentum killer. Therefore, familiarize with the latest industry news and trends relevant to the position and company. However, be sure to stay away from topics that are polarizing or controversial.

Know Your Value

After the initial steps described above, you’re now able to begin calculating your value. You reviewed your skills, specializations, and experiences to show you are qualified for the position. Thus, you can now identify the standard compensation for someone in a similar role across the city, state, and country. You can do this by leveraging sites like LinkedIn and analyzing their salary insights.

Did you know you have access to a database full of transparent compensations? Professionals across all industries have provided valuable salary insights you can use to compare your market value. Once you have identified an acceptable figure, explain how you arrived there during your job interview. Your explanation should be clear and concise.

Read more about job interviews and other career advice here. Or click here to get in contact with a Johnson Service Group Recruiter and begin finding your dream job today!


A Cheat-Sheet for Interviewing


So, this is it. After spending hours filling out applications, fine-tuning resumes, and writing cover letter after cover letter, you receive a callback; you finally get an interview. The interview in this hypothetical situation could be face-to-face, or it could be done through video conferencing. Regardless of your proximity to the interviewer, what doesn’t change in either situation is the intent of the interview.

This potential employer needs to decide if you’d be a good fit for this company, for their culture. They need to verify the skills you claim to have, and what you would bring to their organization, should they decide to hire you. They will make this decision based on your education, experiences, references, and your answers to the various questions they’ll raise. These interview questions will vary industry to industry; however, there are a few questions that are applicable and seem to be asked, regardless of what the job is.

Tell Me a Little Bit About Yourself

This question is easy! It’s all about you – and who knows you better than you? However, it is not uncommon for people to overthink and mess up. This question’s only purpose is to serve as your introduction. It’s not your life story, it’s two or three specific accomplishments unique to yourself or your life. This is a quick-pitch, a summary of your skills, and how those skills connect to the company or job you are interviewing for. You need to prioritize relevancy. If you are sharing a story about a program you coded in college while interviewing in Information Technology? Perfect. A story about your love of fishing while interviewing with a bank? Less than useful.

What is your Biggest Weakness?

Believe it or not, this question is not meant to highlight your weak skills, but to test a person’s self-awareness. While there are answers that are clear red-flags, like answering leadership when interviewing for a management position, most interviewers are looking for internal-reflection. Try to provide an example that balances your weakness with examples of how you combat this.

Someone who answers with time management, and then goes on to explain that they use planners, email reminders, and calendars is a perfect example. You show you’re aware of that weakness and the steps you’re taking so it doesn’t get the best of you. The ability to come up with a weakness also shows you cannot just take criticism but can look critically inward for self-improvement.

Do You Have Any Questions for Us?

This question is often presented at the end of the interview. It is one last chance to leave the interviewers with a lasting impression, and stand out from the competition. While information about the company, the job, and its basics will likely be topics during the main portion of the interview, asking good questions will do two things. It indicates high interest in the job and allows you to showcase any additional research you’ve done leading up to the interview. The question I recommend is, “If you hire me, what are your expectations for the first month, first six months and first year?” This example demonstrates you are a forward-thinker. As well as a planner and lets those making the hiring decision envision an outcome where you are the chosen applicant.

job interview

How to Nail Your Job Interview in 2019

job interview

Can you believe that 2019 is finally here? For many people, a new year is a great opportunity to explore the job market. If you’re looking to change things up this year, finding a new position is a fantastic way to find a career you’re truly passionate about our work for a new employer that has a great company culture.

But joining the job market can be overwhelming. Especially in this tight job market. In December of 2018, U.S. employers added an impressive 312,000 jobs. If you’re entering the job market this year, you have tons of options to choose from! With more jobs than workers to fill them, you will find yourself being called back for lots of job interviews. And in 2019, here’s how to nail them!

Due diligence

We talk about this all of the time, but you must do thorough research on your prospective employers. Before you go in for a job interview or pick up the phone for a screening, sit down and do some research online.

Your best friend when doing some due diligence on your prospective employer is LinkedIn. Jump onto LinkedIn and check out the company’s profile. There, you will find information about the company, see who works there, and get an idea of what the company culture is like. By looking at who works there, you may find that you are connected with someone who already works there, and you can reach out to them for a recommendation or some inside on the interviewers.

Don’t forget to check out their website and other social media platforms, too. These will give you better insight into what’s going on with the company. Plus, they can help give you some great talking points about the employer for your interview!

Ask thought-provoking questions

Even in this job market, you will be forgettable to hiring managers if you fail to ask solid questions in your interview. If you don’t come prepared with good questions, it illustrates that you either weren’t prepared or are uninterested in the position.

After your due diligence, you should easily be able to come up with a few solid questions. And by good questions, I don’t mean that you should try and stump the interviewer. But you want to ask questions that are thought-provoking and show that you did your homework.

If you need help coming up with some fantastic interview questions, here are a few of our favorites.

Write a killer thank you note

A quick and thoughtful thank you not is essential to seal the deal on any job interview. You want to write a thank you to each of the interviewers. If you don’t have their contact information, you can usually find them on LinkedIn or after a quick Google search. Don’t forget to send a custom thank you to each person!

Do you know what each interviewer will do once they receive your thank you message? Go and talk to the rest of their colleagues. This is your time to shine! By writing a personal thank you note that reflects on something from your interview, you will really wow your interviewers.

If you need some help writing a killer thank you note, we have a few tips for you.

The job market is crazy out there. You have tons of options and exciting new opportunities at your fingertips! If you nail that interview, you can start 2019 off on the right foot with a new job.

stand out from the competition

How to Stand Out From the Competition in An Interview

stand out from the competition

When it comes to job interviews, chances are you have experienced your fair share. Whether you are applying for an entry-level position or are poised to finally make that jump to Director or Vice President, a job interview is one of the last things that stands between you and the job you hope to hold. While every job, company, and interview are different, there are several things you can do to stand out from the competition, regardless of where you are applying.

Research, Research, Research

When applying to work anywhere, it is imperative you are educated on what your potential employer does. Spend time familiarizing yourself with both the broad goals and if possible, the day-to-day operations of the company. Search sites liked LinkedIn and Glassdoor to find what current or former employees have to say about working there. Familiarize yourself with basics like expectations, experience with bosses or the CEO, and salaries. Set Google Alerts that will help keep you up to date with any company related news or current events. Referencing these in interviews will help you stick out from the competition and make you more memorable.

Once you’ve finished your due diligence, ensure you can connect what you have learned back to the rest of the company. In-depth knowledge is great, but its relevance to the questions you will be asked in the interview is what forms a lasting impression. If you have a chance to ask questions, make sure they connect to what you have learned, as good, relevant questions are drastically better than the typical, “Do people like working here?” and showcase your critical thinking.

Remove these Buzzwords from your Vocabulary

Last month, Glassdoor released a list of words to never use on your resume. This list was a follow up to a September article titled, 13 Must-Have Words to include in Your Resume. Sticking with this train of thought, there are various words or phrases to avoid when face-to-face with your potential employer. Stay away from words like “responsible” or “responsibility.” Everyone interviewing will list the various tasks they were responsible for.

Instead, be specific, and use words like “create,” “lead” or “managed,” as these convey your ability to strategically set goals and follow through. Always use words that convey large amounts of detail, as being vague may raise red flags or result in a dull, forgettable interview. If you established a new policy or completed a significant project, use words that highlight your achievements. Try words like “Redesigned,” “Launched” or “Modernized,” as opposed to just listing items as if you were reading off a list.

Preparation on the Day of

On the day of, there are a few things you can do leading up to the interview itself to improve your chances of landing the job. Eating and hydrating adequately before will help calm your nerves and lessen your body’s natural responses to stress, like sweating or bad breath. Leave at a time that allows you to arrive at least ten to fifteen minutes early. This will gives you a chance to collect your thoughts. It also prevents you from stressing about showing up late because of traffic lights, construction, or an accident; tardiness to the interview will often result in viewing you as un-hirable.

Once you have arrived, use the rest of the time before the interview to your advantage. Be aware that the interview started the second you walked in the door. Stay off your phone, speak respectfully, and try to get a feel for the company culture in its natural environment. This can be the most honest view of a company you receive before being hired. It can give you a better idea of how a company operates and those you’d be working with, that you may not receive in the actual interview.

If you follow these three tips, you’ll be able to stand out from the competition and nail that interview. Good luck!

Job Interview

These 7 Behaviors Will Ruin Your Job Interview

Job InterviewWe all know a job interview is a make or break moment when it comes to getting a job offer or not. So, being prepared and ensuring you avoid behaviors that could hurt your chances if necessary! Even though you may be nervous about your job interview… If you remember to avoid doing any of these things, you should be a shoe-in for getting the job!

Arriving late

This should be a no-brainer. Arriving late shows that you don’t care about the position, let alone the time of those who are interviewing you. And this, no doubt, will leave a bad taste in their mouths. Of course, things can happen, but if you’re going to be late, make sure to contact them. This will give you a saving grace and hopefully help them give you a second chance.

But if you’re not planning on being late, arriving around 10 – 15 minutes early is perfect. This shows you are eager and interested in the position and that you’re prepared. Which is a great way to start off an interview!

Not doing your homework

You should always do research of the job, employees, and company before you go in for a job interview. They will ask you questions, and if you’re interested in the position, you will know the answers. It’s not only for them though. This is the time for you to really see if you’d be interested in working for this company and see if you’re really wanting to do the job.

Take the time to check out their ratings and other employee’s opinions. Doing your research not only prepares you for the interview but it helps give you an idea on if this job is really a fit for you.

Dressing inappropriate

This is important. A lot of people are worried about what to wear to a job interview, and this is a good thing! But the rule of thumb is to always dress business appropriate. Don’t get carried away on the makeup, perfume, or aftershave. The theme here is to stay as conservative and professional as possible. The more professional you dress, the better you will come across in an interview.

Avoiding eye contact

Make eye contact! If you avoid eye contact, you look like you’re hiding something and not a genuine person. Of course, they know you’re nervous, but if you can’t even have a conversation and look at them, they will question how you will fit into their culture and company.

Inappropriate Language

If you want to be seen as a professional, don’t use or talk about inappropriate things during an interview. Bad language and inappropriate conversations will dig you into a huge hole that you won’t be able to work your way out of.

Being Overly Confident

Being stuck up and overly confident doesn’t make you look good. To be honest, it makes you look like a terrible culture fit, and that you’d be a liability when getting along and working with other employees.

Not Asking Questions

And the last one on our list is asking questions. If you don’t ask questions, it makes you look like you don’t care about the position enough to see if you’d really be a good fit. Having a set of questions prepared before going into an interview will only help you. This way you don’t forget what you want to ask about and you look interested in the position. The last thing you want the interviewers to think is that you just wanted to waste their time and weren’t very interested in the position. When you most likely are!

If you’re excited and want the job you’re applying for, you shouldn’t have to worry about making these mistakes! But, it’s always nice to know what to avoid. Especially, when you’re going in to interview for the job of your dreams!

online dating

How Recruiting is Like Online Dating

online dating

I met my husband online 10 years ago and as a Sr. Technical Recruiter, I approached the world of online dating with my skills as a successful recruiter! Like me, many of us have been through the excitements of online dating. Whether you are single, married, or in a long-term relationship, you never stop courting in the recruiting world.

Just like online dating, you post your new polished resume on the job boards, your LinkedIn profile is updated, and you click that button that says you are open to a new opportunity and then boom! You’re inundated with recruiters sending you emails and InMail’s! What to do next? How do you weed them out? Just like online dating sites that are built around this same concept, these same types of profiles gives those looking for a “partner” the opportunity to get a sneak peek into you as a prospective candidate. And this is how online dating and recruiting are alike.

Before that first call/email reply:

Your excitement at the recruiter’s response can easily become overwhelming. Like with online dating, you need to research them and ensure they are sincere in their interest in you!

  • Check out their LinkedIn Profile
  • Go to their website
  • Look at the company’s social media
  • Google

Do they have relevant jobs matched to your skills? Is their website informative? Do they have recent content or reviews that resonates with your standards? If so, then it’s time for that first email or call!

You wait anxiously for a reply; like dating, you hope they call soon! The call comes and suddenly you are on the first date! This is a time for discovery, finding out whether you want to move forward toward a business relationship. In recruiting, the first date is the interview. The interview gives you both an opportunity to see if there is a match.

Before you talk about the job, introduce yourself, share why you wanted to meet. Like having your first conversation with a potential date, you need to listen and engage. Spend at least 15 minutes on the phone sharing your successes or schedule a face-to-face coffee and be honest about what you are seeking in the job market/potential job being shared.

Signs of a good first interview/ date are:

  • Good eye contact-in person/video
  • Ease of conversation
  • Knowledge of the company
  • Knowledge of the position
  • Appropriate dress and demeanor
  • Honest answers

Some things that turn Recruiters off:

  • Coming off as arrogant
  • Complaining about past relationships (past jobs, in this case)
  • Extended uncomfortable silences
  • Extended gaps in resumes – without explanation

If you determine that the job is not going to be a fit, there is no need to ask for a second date. It’s important to let the recruiter know that you are not interested so you can let them move on to the next candidate. Offer to set them up with a colleague who you know is a right fit! If it doesn’t feel right at this time, maybe it will in the future! Stay in touch!

If it went well and you want to see the other person again, then it’s time to follow the next steps in the recruiting process. After the first date, it’s time for you to assess everything that has occurred up to this point. In recruiting, after the initial interviews, recruiters will present you to their clients for consideration. Depending on the clients’ feedback, recruiters should contact you as to whether or not the hiring manager would like to continue with the hiring process.

Then you have that MATCH! You undergo background, credit, and drug check procedures. Upon successful completion of these checks, its official – you can announce it to the world! Update your LinkedIn profile, tell colleagues, friends, and family, and put in that long-awaited two weeks’ notice.

So, there you have it. Online dating and recruiting are similar. As you already know, my first date went extremely well, and I hope to have a first date with you soon!

job interview

Job Interview Question: Why Are You Looking For A New Job?

job interview

If you’re currently employed when on the lookout for a new job, know that this question will come up. This interview question is designed to see what kind of person you are and what your intentions are. Are you looking for just money or are you wanting to grow in your career and you just can’t do that at your current company?

There are tons of reasons you could be wanting to leave your current position, but you must approach it the right way in a job interview. This way you put your best foot forward and hopefully land the new position.

Keep it positive

When this question is asked, make sure you remember to always make your answer positive! Even if the reason you’re leaving may not be for the most positive reasons. Regardless of the reason, just don’t walk into the interview and start bad-mouthing your current employer. That is distasteful and won’t make a good first impression on the hiring manager.

Talk about what you’re looking for, not what you don’t have. If you’re looking for a new position because you want something different, explain that. Demonstrate to the interviewers that you want to grow into a management role. Or maybe it’s because you want a better work-life balance. Whatever it is, make sure that you state it proudly and honestly, so they know exactly what you’re looking for.

Be honest

Answering this question honestly is essential to making a good impression. Obviously, spinning it in a positive light is important but if you totally lie about what you’re looking for or why you’re leaving, it will negatively impact your job interview.

If you need more money to support your family, that’s okay to say! They just want this to be a question where they get to know who you are and what you’re looking for. By being honest with them, they can ensure that you’re a good fit for the role and the organization.

Make it about new opportunities

You’re wanting to leave for a new opportunity. By demonstrating that you are looking for new opportunities to grow into your career, you will leave a great first impression from the very beginning of the job interview.  New opportunities help everyone grow and gain great experience in their careers. If your current position or organization just won’t allow you to grow as a professional, that is perfectly acceptable to state in your answer! Employers want a candidate who is willing to come into the organization and start making strides. With this tight job market, employee retention has become essential in the recruitment process.

Don’t let the nerves of this question affect your answer. With these pointers, you will rock it and leave them ready to hand you an offer letter.